You Can’t Even Renounce Your Citizen for Free

Everything is getting expensive today, even renouncing your citizenship:

Under new consular fees published Thursday in the Federal Register, the cost of processing a formal renunciation of U.S. citizenship skyrocketed from $0 to $450. The announcement locks in fee hikes that had been proposed in 2010 and instituted on an interim basis.

$450 to say you no longer want part of the so-called “social contract?” That’s a pretty nasty early termination fee, especially when you consider the supposed contract is for the entirely of your life and not the paltry two years cellular providers put you under.

Some may wonder why you wouldn’t just leave the country and “renounce” you citizenship by never coming back. The answer to that is simply: the government will charge you with the crime on not paying your taxes (which, according to them, you still owe since you’re a citizen) and attempt to have you extradited for trial. Until one has filled out the official paperwork the United States government believes they hold ownership over your physical person.

Besides renouncing your citizenship the cost of going to other countries in general has gone up:

It’s also getting more expensive if you want to keep your U.S. citizenship and need a passport to prove it. The application fee for a passport is jumping by 27 percent, from $55 to $70 with a 100 percent increase, from $20 to $40, in the passport security surcharge.

In addition to the increase in the application fee, the department will now charge $82 _ up from nothing _ to add new pages to a U.S. passport.

Perhaps only the wealthy will be allowed to leave the country some day, and only if they give the government some collateral to encourage their return. Preventing citizens from leaving is a common tactic used by tyrannical regimes and I wouldn’t be surprised, with the direction this country has been going, if such tactics are implemented here. Steps like increasing the cost of passports are baby steps in that direction.